How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated April 17, 2023

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to ship a car? If you’re planning on moving across the country, selling your car to someone out of state, or purchasing a vehicle from another part of the country, you’ll need to know how long it takes to get your car from point A to point B.

In this ultimate guide to car shipping times, we’ll break down everything you need to know to help you plan your move with ease and confidence.

Factors that Affect Shipping Times

The time it takes to ship a car depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few things that could affect the length of time it takes to get your car from one place to another:

1. Distance

The distance between your starting point and destination is the most significant factor impacting shipping time. The farther your car has to travel, the longer it will take to get there.

2. Destination Location

The location of your final destination also affects the shipping time. If you’re shipping your car to a big city, it may take slightly longer due to the increased traffic and congestion.

3. Time of Year/Seasonality

The time of year can also impact how long it takes to ship your car. During peak car shipping season, which is usually in the summer months, it may take longer to get your car to its destination due to higher demand for vehicle transportation.

4. Shipping Company

Not all car shipping companies are created equal, and some may offer faster or slower shipping times. It’s essential to research different companies to determine their estimated shipping times and choose the best fit for your needs.

Estimated Shipping Times

Now that you know the factors that impact shipping times, let’s take a look at estimated shipping times for different distances.

For journeys of less than 500 miles, shipping times can range from one to two days, on average. It can take up to three days for journeys of 500 to 1000 miles. It can take up to four days for journeys of 1000 to 1500 miles. For journeys of 1500 to 2000 miles, it can take up to five days; for journeys greater than 2000 miles, it can take up to seven days.

It’s important to remember that these estimated times are just that – estimates. Some factors, such as traffic, weather conditions, and mechanical problems, can cause delays.

How to Choose a Car Shipping Company

When it comes to choosing a car shipping company, there are several factors to consider:

1. Reputation and Reviews

The reputation of the shipping company is an essential factor to consider. Look for companies with positive reviews online and a high rating from the Better Business Bureau.

2. Shipping Options

Many car shipping companies offer a variety of shipping options, including open and enclosed trailers. Choose the option that best fits your needs and budget.

3. Customer Service

Customer service is also crucial when choosing a car shipping company. Look for companies that offer prompt and efficient communication and a clear and straightforward pricing structure.

4. Insurance Coverage

When shipping your car, you’ll want to ensure it’s protected in case of any damage or accidents during transport. Look for companies with comprehensive insurance coverage to give you peace of mind.

Benefits of Using a Car Shipping Company

Now that you know more about the shipping process and factors that affect shipping times let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of using a car shipping company.

1. Save Time and Effort

Shipping your car through a carrier saves you time and effort by not having to drive your car long distances to your destination. This is especially helpful if you’re relocating and don’t want to drive a long journey.

2. Convenience

Using a car shipping company is also more convenient than driving your car, as you can have it delivered directly to your doorstep or a location of your choice.

3. Cost-Effective

Hiring a car shipping company is also cost-effective when compared to driving the car yourself, as you’ll avoid expenses such as fuel, lodging, and food.

How to Prepare To Ship a Car

Now that you understand car shipping times better, factors affecting delivery, and how to choose the right shipping company, preparing your car for shipping is essential to ensure a smooth process. Here are some steps to help you get your car ready for transportation:

1. Clean Your Car

Before shipping your car, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean it inside and out. This will make identifying any existing scratches, dents, or damage easier before shipping.

2. Document Pre-existing Damage

Take photographs of your car from multiple angles, capturing any pre-existing damage, scratches, or dents. This documentation will serve as evidence in case any new damage occurs during shipping.

3. Remove Personal Items

Remove personal belongings from your vehicle aheading of hauling. Most car shipping companies prohibit the transportation of personal items inside the vehicle, as they can add extra weight and are not covered by the company’s insurance.

4. Remove or Secure Loose Parts

Check your car for any loose parts, such as antennas, spoilers, or removable mirrors, and either remove or secure them to prevent damage during shipping.

5. Check Fluid Levels and Tire Pressure

Ensure that your car has an adequate amount of all necessary fluids, including oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. Additionally, check your tire pressure to ensure it’s at the recommended level.

6. Disable the Alarm

To avoid any complications during shipping, disable your car’s alarm system. This will prevent it from accidentally going off during transport, causing potential issues or delays.

7. Leave a Small Amount of Gas in the Tank

It’s best to leave only a small amount of gas in the tank before shipping your car—around a quarter of a tank is sufficient. This helps reduce the overall weight of your vehicle and makes it easier for the shipping company to transport.

8. Provide Keys and Instructions

Ensure you provide the shipping company with a set of keys to your car and any necessary instructions or information regarding its operation. This ensures that the transporters can safely ship a car and load and unload your vehicle without any issues.


How Long Does It Typically Take to Ship a Car?

Shipping times vary depending on factors such as distance, destination, seasonality, and the shipping company. Generally, shipping times can range from 1 to 7 days for domestic shipping and may take longer for international shipments.

What Factors Affect Car Shipping Times?

Factors that affect shipping times include distance, destination location, time of year/seasonality, and the shipping company itself.

How Do I Choose a Car Shipping Company?

Research the reputation and reviews of various companies, consider shipping options, evaluate their customer service, and ensure they provide adequate insurance coverage.

Are There Different Shipping Options Available?

Yes, car shipping companies usually offer options such as open and enclosed trailers. Choose the option that best fits your needs and budget.

Is Using a Company To Ship a Car Cost-effective?

Hiring a car shipping company can be cost-effective when compared to driving the car yourself, as it helps you avoid expenses such as fuel, lodging, and food.

Bottom Line: How to Ship a Car Fast

In conclusion, the length of time it takes to ship your car depends on several factors, including distance, destination, seasonality, and the shipping company itself. Researching different companies and reading online reviews is essential to find the right shipping provider for your needs.

Understanding the shipping process and choosing a reputable company can make the car shipping experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.